SUBWAY® All Ireland Schools U19B Boys Cup Final: Castleisland Community College 45, St. Columb’s Derry 41
National Basketball Arena: Ross O’Donoghue
Castleisland Community College and St. Columb’s of Derry served up one of the closest games of the week, with the Kerry side coming through in the end by 45-41 in the SUBWAY® All Ireland Schools U19B Boys Cup Final. It was a two-possession game throughout the 40 minutes and the sides were still level with less than a minute remaining.
Castleisland Coach Maurice Casey said: “It was a very tight game. We had two of our starters off the court at the end but the boys that came in did a job for me. I’ve 14 boys on the team and the commitment has been brilliant. It means a lot to basketball in the southwest. For our school, it’s been almost 10 years since we were here last so an All-Ireland win is a great achievement.”
Casey’s boys had early control on the offensive boards but that hadn’t registered on the scoreboard until Shane O’Connell got closer to the basket. By then, St. Columb’s had gotten some open looks and three-pointers from Danann Coyle and Kevin Brady. Joe McGinley followed up with a strong drive from the half-court but it was back to 12-6 when O’Connell slipped the ball inside to Eoghan Browne just before the first quarter buzzer.
St Columb’s looked to penetrate more in the second period with Jack Knox making gains while Castleisland were happy to lurk at the perimeter. They book ended the quarter with three-pointers from Alex Fleming and Padraig O’Connell and Shane O’Connell took his tally to eight points for the half on a 9-4 run.
It was 20-20 at the break and the sides were still tied at 32-32 ten minutes later. Ireland U16 International Ryan Whoriskey came into the game with a couple of baskets while Castleisland’s usual suspects kept them in the hunt. It was a game of small margins, so it was going to take some big shots to win it.
Nathan Nolan’s big three-pointer had game winner all over it but there was still time for St. Columb’s to hit back through Coyle and Whoriskey. The big opportunity didn’t fall to Padraig O’Connell – he created it. The young substitute created space with a pump-fake before shooting for two with 22 seconds left and Jonathan Hilliard iced the game from the free-throw line.
Speaking at the prize presentation, Muriel O’Grady, Development Agent SUBWAY® Ireland said:
“Congratulations to the newly crowned SUBWAY® All-Ireland Schools’ Cup champions Castleisland Community College, who defeated St. Columb’s, Derry in an exciting final that took place in the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght.
“The skill and sportsmanship of all the schools participating in the finals has been hugely impressive and their schoolmates, who travelled from all over the country to support their teams, should also be congratulated,”
The SUBWAY® brand and our network of franchisees all over Ireland are very proud to be supporting basketball in schools throughout Ireland and already looking forward to next year’s competition.”
Castleisland Community College: Jonathan Hillard 1, Alex Fleming 5, Shane O’Connell 12, Nathan Nolan 7, Adam Nolan. Substitutes: Eodhan Browne 4, Jack Curran, Ryan Maguire, Sean O’Connell, Sean O’Connell, Padraig O’Connell 16, Seamus Barry, Patrick Horan.
St Columb’s College, Derry: Kevin Brady 7, Ryan Whoriskey 14, Danann Coyle 17, Jack Knox, John Bonner 2. Substitutes: Joe McGinley, Aaron King 1, Lee Meehan.
MVP: Danann Coyle, St. Columb’s College. Half Time: Castleisland 20-20 St Columb’s